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Featured rikishi - Iwakiyama & Hochiyama

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Iwakiyama & Hochiyama!

Sorry, I'm new here. Is this post supposed to contain something other than just the names of two rikishi?

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It is part of the forum to discuss what we know, like or want to comment about particular rikishi. The two names are there by themselves only because no-one has commented yet.

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Iwakiyama

listed at 185cm and 173 kg, making him one of the largest rikishi in Makuuchi. 173kg is pretty big. 380 pounds for us non-metric types. I think he looks bigger than that even. closer to 180

Debut in Ozumo: July 2000

Juryo Debut: March 2002

Makuuchi Debut: November 2002

born March 2, 1976

I was thinking that it is rather remarkable that he started Ozumo rather late in life. He was 24 years 5 months old at his debut in Sumo.

Made it to Juryo only 18 months after entering sumo.

Spent only 4 Basho in Juryo until he was promoted to Makuuchi.

Been a regular at the top half of Maegashira, making it to Komosubi a couple times.

Seems hampered by injuries almost constantly.

Pretty nondescript overall. Seems that in spite of his relatively rapid rise up the ranks and his mammoth size, not much attention directed toward him. Nobody has much to say about him, nor any expectations.

Has his own smiley on sumo forum.

(Lifting weights...)

Edited by Iwagakki

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Makuuchi Debut: November 2002
(Applauding...) That's amazing! I was thinking about that guy being around for eons, at least as long as Wakanosato, but actually they are eons apart! (Sato had his Makuuchi debut in May 1998)
Nobody has much to say about him, nor any expectations.
Well, I have not quite given up on him, wishing that he would finally manage to use his massive body to his advantage. Physically, we are looking at another Kaio, but sadly he tends to perform like Miyabiyama with the same few glimpses of greatness.

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FWIW - must be the most regular sekitori visitor to Tamanoi Beya as Sakaigawa Beya is also in Adachi-ku NE Tokyo.

Sakaigawa has a hair salon as part of its koen kai and they give out Iwakiyama results, info and the like at the salon.

Smallish place opposite a filthy little stream on the border with Saitama Prefecture is the stable. One of the more remote parts of Tokyo but the boys are often seen on the local train line.

FWIW

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Physically, we are looking at another Kaio

Sadly, that also goes for his injury proneness. not just his body type and skills. I'm quite the Iwaki fan, and I'll continue to hope that he will become a steady sanyaku in the Wakanosato mold, but alas...he's not getting younger, being just two basho removed from his 30th birthday now.

What's there to say about Hochiyama...either he's the unluckiest Makushita rikishi in recent years, or he's in fact a choker, as our silly little thread during the basho implied. Probably a bit of both. At any rate, he has now been short of promotion to Juryo by only one win 5 times (!), three of those times ruining his shot with his final bout. He's still just about 24 (in two months), so hopefully he'll make it one of these days. (In jonokuchi...)

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One interesting tidbit about Iwakiyama that may have been lost in the sands of time, at least to newer fans:

Tsushima, 24, a standout in amateur sumo since his high school years, became a staff at Aomori Yamada High School two years ago after graduating from Aomori University. He decided not to turn a pro then but he had changed his mind and joined Nakadachi Beya after losing his best friend in a traffic accident this February.

"This is something I can do right now and not later. Now that I am in, I want to become a sekitori as soon as possible," Tsushima said. He weighs 167 kg and 183 cm tall.

http://www.banzuke.com/00-4/msg00021.html

(Nakadachi-beya has since become Sakaigawa-beya, of course.)

Edited by Asashosakari

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This is what Amanogawa wrote on 26th of January 2003 about Hochiyama:

Well. (Blushing...) His real name is Munakata Yukimi (family name, given name ). Born on Jan. 18, '82, and raised in the very same city where Wakanosato is from. http://www.city.hirosaki.aomori.jp/gaiyou/index-e.html

There is a banner ( nobori ) of "Hochiyama" proudly flattering in front of Hirosaki City Office. 187cm 136kg. He won a clean sweep Jonokuchi-yusho in his first basho ( '00 Natsu ), and was in Jonidan yusho play-off in '00 Kyushu. This Hatsu '03 is his 17th basho and now his with 73W - 46 L. He used to belong to Kizukuri High School sumo club which bears good reputations, and where Mainoumi once was. Has a flexible and stable lower body he's trained through high school sumo career. Some of you have witnessed how persistent he is at the edge of the dohyo. His shiko looks good too, I think. (Thumbs up...)

And today he lost in Makushita play-off... Kokkai's henka!

Certainly he has a lot more to learn especially about tachiai....

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Iwakiyama has indeed been burdened by lower back problems and lately his shoulder has been an impediment to fully utilize his massive strength and mass. A bit unskillful at times rarely getting a good mawashi grip if the bout goes to yotsu. He has been a tough foe to Shoryu too but often gives in morozashi against him at the end. The only makuuchi rikishi against whom he has had more than 2 bouts and whom he hasn't been able to beat yet is KaioU.

Here are some of his records against foes:

KaioU 0-8

Asashoryu 1-11

Kyokutenho 1-9

Tamanoshima 2-7

These two high makushita/sanyaku rikishi are always very difficult to Iwakiyama for some reason. Kyokutenho usually gets uwate-grip and beats Iwa with that and Tamanoshima is just too robust.

Kokkai 2-5

Some very powerful bouts between these two. Both of Iwakiyama's wins have been bulldozing kind.

Dejima 2-5

Iwakiyama used to go quite a lot to Musashigawa-beya too for degeiko.

Tochiazuma 3-6

Iwakiyama is probably the most frequent de-geiko partner for Tochiazuma and gets beaten at keiko with far bigger percentage than in honbasho.

Wakanosato 3-6 (Iwakiyama has won the last 3)

Chiyotaikai 4-6 (Iwakiyama won 4 in a row but now Taikai has won 4 in a row)

Hakuho 3-4

Miyabiyama 3-4

Kotomitsuki 6-5

Kakizoe 11-0

Iwakiyama is Kakizoe's nemesis.

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Guest Zeppelin

Lower back problems are probably harder to train/compete with than knee injuries, given the impact it has on the entire trunck area. A sublexated sacrum, for example, can impact the entire trunk, back and front.

If you've ever had this injury you know what i mean. Hard to move at all! I wish him well in his recovery.

Iwakiyama has indeed been burdened by lower back problems and lately his shoulder has been an impediment to fully utilize his massive strength and mass. A bit unskillful at times rarely getting a good mawashi grip if the bout goes to yotsu. He has been a tough foe to Shoryu too but often gives in morozashi against him at the end. The only makuuchi rikishi against whom he has had more than 2 bouts and whom he hasn't been able to beat yet is KaioU.

Here are some of his records against foes:

KaioU 0-8

Asashoryu 1-11

Kyokutenho 1-9

Tamanoshima 2-7

These two high makushita/sanyaku rikishi are always very difficult to Iwakiyama for some reason. Kyokutenho usually gets uwate-grip and beats Iwa with that and Tamanoshima is just too robust.

Kokkai 2-5

Some very powerful bouts between these two. Both of Iwakiyama's wins have been bulldozing kind.

Dejima 2-5

Iwakiyama used to go quite a lot to Musashigawa-beya too for degeiko.

Tochiazuma 3-6

Iwakiyama is probably the most frequent de-geiko partner for Tochiazuma and gets beaten at keiko with far bigger percentage than in honbasho.

Wakanosato 3-6 (Iwakiyama has won the last 3)

Chiyotaikai 4-6 (Iwakiyama won 4 in a row but now Taikai has won 4 in a row)

Hakuho 3-4

Miyabiyama 3-4

Kotomitsuki 6-5

Kakizoe 11-0

Iwakiyama is Kakizoe's nemesis.

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Iwakiyama may not have worked as a teacher but as a school clerk. Common misconception then that Iwakiyama actually taught some kids if this is so. He graduated high school which may have been one of those occupational high school and then went to work as school clerk in Aomorian school and kept working until decided to join sumo.

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very interestring stuff about Iwakiyama. he is one of my personal favorites, eventhough he is very inconsistent. interesting about his shikona. not surpriseing that his name fits him so well :)

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Late response but...

Iwakiyama may not have worked as a teacher but as a school clerk. Common misconception then that Iwakiyama actually taught some kids if this is so. He graduated high school which may have been one of those occupational high school and then went to work as school clerk in Aomorian school and kept working until decided to join sumo.

I was always under the impression that he earned his tsukedashi qualification as a college rikishi, not as a business amateur. At any rate, Jonosuke's SML post that I quoted somewhere above says he graduated from Aomori University. Doesn't prove that he actually taught any children, of course, but the "occupational high school -> work" hypothesis itself doesn't seem to work, IMO.

And for the historical record, this thread's #2 topic Hochiyama will make his Juryo debut next month, of course. (Carried away on a stretcher...)

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Iwakiyama did graduate from Aomori University. He was already a promising amateur when he graduated from a middle school but he wanted to go to a high school and went to Hirosaki Jitsugyo High School - the same school Takamisakari graduated.

Several oyakatas scouted him during his high school years but he felt he could not live a pro life and turned them down and instead opted to go to a university. His sumo club manager recommended him to join the Nihon University Sumo Club ("Nich-Dai") but he had a strong conviction to make an university sumo club in Aomori as strong as any other in Japan as Aomoroi high school sumo clubs were known as the best in Japan and went to Aomori University (Two years ago he passed the Graduate School entrance exam at the Aomori and entered Faculty of Environment Sciences. He is currently taking the time off from the study.)

After the graduating from Aomori Univeristy, he was again scouted by several heyas but he still did not feel up to joining Ozumo. Instead he joined the staff of privately run Aomori Yamada High School, connected to the Aomori University. Whether he taught the classes there or not is unclear but it is very much sports oriented school as among its graduates are Ai Fukuhara, a world class table tennis player and several J-League players.

Iwakiyama finally decided to join Ozumo as he had a Makushita Tsukedashi qualification and losing his best friend whom he trained together and wanted to compete in Ozumo one day. Iwakiyama joined Ozumo for his sake as well as his as he realized that was their dream to make Ozumo one time.

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Guest Buyouzan

here's a nice article about Iwakiyama for those who can read Japanese:

http://mytown.asahi.com/aomori/news.php?k_...000140601100001

Here's something to add on the Jonosuke's story from what I read in the above article:

Although he was introduced to Sumo at a young age (83kg at age 12) and wrestled all through University, Iwakiyama never considered himself an elite sumo wrestler. Although he watched his high school colleagues Hayateumi and Takamisakari succeed in the pro world, he decided instead to live his sumo life as a coach (so not sure if he was a teacher, but he did coach sumo at the high school).

Life changed, however, when his lifelong friend and sumo partner since grade school, Matsuda died from a car accident at age 24. On the day of the funeral, Iwakiyama looked into his coffin and asked Matsuda if he lived his life to the fullest, but he felt like his dead friend had asked back, "what about you?" After this incident, he began thinking about turning pro, but joining a stable at age 24 was not very realistic.

That's when he bumped into Mainoumi, by total coincidence, at the Aomori Airport as Iwakiyama was traveling to attend a friend's wedding. He talked intently about his dream to Mainoumi, who he had just met. After listening patiently, Mainoumi said, "if you want to do it, this year is your last chance." Mainoumi agreed to introduce him to a stable.

"It was a total coincidence that I met Mainoumisan at the airport," says Iwakiyama. "If the wedding date was different, I probably wouldn't be in this [sumo] world right now."

In July of 2000, Iwakiyama joined the Juryo ranks, 1.5 years after his Hatsudohyo. He felt that now he can proudly say to Matsuda, "I am doing what I want to do with my life," and he couldn't stop his tears. After Juryo Yusho, He joined Makuuchi in November, 2002.

But things weren't that easy. As the second heaviest wrestler in makuuchi at 175kg, he struggled with injuries. He rarely Kachikoshi twice in a row and he has only attained Sanyaku twice in the past three years.

Trying to figure out the reasons for his slump, he realized that he hadn't seen any dreams of Matsuda recently. The last time Matsuda came up in his dreams was at Juryo Yusho. His custom to think about Matsuda right before his bout to fire him up had also been lost along the way.

"Until Juryo, I was doing it for him. But now, I must do it for myself. I think this cleared my mind a bit," he says. In February, on the day of Matsuda's death, he intends to visit his grave and report his change in mentality.

On the 8th day (i think of Akibasho), he defeated Asasekiryu with a forceful Oshidashi. He had decided, for that bout, to not think about win/loss and just make a hard hit from his head. "I think I was able to establish to myself and others that this year I will make hard hits with all my might. In his Shitakubeya(warm-up room), there was always laughter.

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Many thanks for the translation! (Carried away on a stretcher...) Couple of notes...

In July of 2000, Iwakiyama joined the Juryo ranks, 1.5 years after his Hatsudohyo.

July 2000 was his hatsu-dohyo, the Juryo debut was March 2002.

On the 8th day (i think of Akibasho), he defeated Asasekiryu with a forceful Oshidashi.

Day 1 of Hatsu basho, perhaps? (His only oshidashi win over Asasekiryu that I can find, anyway...) That would also jive with the "this year I will..." quote by him.

Trivia note: As alluded to in the article, Iwakiyama is the rikishi with the oldest age at debut (24 years and 4 months) among the currently active ones.

Edited by Asashosakari

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Guest Buyouzan
Many thanks for the translation! (Carried away on a stretcher...) Couple of notes...
In July of 2000, Iwakiyama joined the Juryo ranks, 1.5 years after his Hatsudohyo.

July 2000 was his hatsu-dohyo, the Juryo debut was March 2002.

On the 8th day (i think of Akibasho), he defeated Asasekiryu with a forceful Oshidashi.

Day 1 of Hatsu basho, perhaps? (His only oshidashi win over Asasekiryu that I can find, anyway...) That would also jive with the "this year I will..." quote by him.

Trivia note: As alluded to in the article, Iwakiyama is the rikishi with the oldest age at debut (24 years and 4 months) among the currently active ones.

sorry, yes, you are correct.

1.5 years since Hatsudohyo in July 2000.

and by 8th day, I think they meant the 8th day of January, 2006, which was Day 1 of Hatsu, as you said.

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ok so im curious, was Iwakiyama a 380lb college student? or did he put on alot of his current weight after decideing to be pro? ....i cant hardly imagine a 6'3 380lb man walking around a campus but not on track for a sporting career. eating is a full time job to keep that sort of size.

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Guest Buyouzan
ok so im curious, was Iwakiyama a 380lb college student? or did he put on alot of his current weight after decideing to be pro? ....i cant hardly imagine a 6'3 380lb man walking around a campus but not on track for a sporting career. eating is a full time job to keep that sort of size.

He was 167kg (367lb) when he entered the pro sumo world. It says he was top 8 in the nation once in college, so he was pretty up there. Just not one of the superstars. As Jonosuke said, he was also recruited to join after high school.

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There is this great photo on Takamisakari Album Site which I copied here. This was taken at the All Japan Sumo Tournament held in 1998 when Takamisakari (then Seiken Kato) won the yusho and the title of Amateur yokozuna.

Out of the eight guys here, at least seven are still active (four in Ozumo). The pic shows from left to right:

5th - Keiji Tamiya (Nihon University 4th Year, Kotomitsuki )

Yusho- Seiken Kato (Nihon Universtiy 4th Year Takamisakari)

5th - Ryuta Tsushima (Aomori Yamada High School, Iwakiyama)

2nd, Jyun Yusho - Norio Shimotori (Tokyo Nogyo University 3rd Year, Shimotori)

5th - Akihide Asada (Wakayama Prefecture Government, won the individual Western Japan Business/Corporate Tournament in 2005) still active in Jitsugyo-dan (businesss/corporate sumo)

3rd - Tsuyoshi Iozaki (Toyo University 4th, currently Ishikawa Matto High School Teacher, won 2005 Adult B Individual at 60th National Games in 2005, First in the 2002 Alll Japan Jitsugyo-dan Tournament) still active in Jitsugyo-dan sumo

5th - Koichi Kato (Meguro Gakuiin High, currently with Townhall of Yaizu, Shizuoka won 2003 All Japan Yusho - Amateur Yokozuna) still active in Jitsugyo-dan sumo

3rd - Yukio Kudo (Aomori Prefecture Sports Advancement Foundation) - unheard since then.

post-414-1139676180_thumb.jpg

Edited by Jonosuke

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Update 22.7.2006

Hochiyama needed only 3 basho in juryo after years of choke-activity in makushita. Despite the fact that he went 11-19 against Iwakiyama at keiko already 2 years ago and is the only rikishi Baruto called very strong amongst his makushita opponents, he never made it through makushita easily. Juryo was not an obstacle anymore even though he did find himself in so familiar position on senshuraku in Haru basho when he was 7-7 and a loss would have meant a demotion back to makushita. He passed that hurdle and had very strong 10-5 in Natsu and now dominating 12-2 before senshuraku in Nagoya.

Hochiyama has subtantial power. It will be nice to see him in makuuchi where he belongs. Still young, soon nobori flaps outside Hirosaki station and Hochiyama gains reputation. He does both oshi and yotsu. HoUchiyama!

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FWIW - both regularly use the Tobu Isesaki Line into the center of Tokyo from Takenotsuka Station - as I said - FWIW

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